Ed Miliband has already had a rough couple of weeks after receiving the worst personal rating of any political party leader since records began, and now he's been humbled by a millionaire former pop star who thinks the mansion tax will leave people "struggling".
The Labour leader was unceremoniously given a thorough telling-off by Myleene Klass, who is thought to be worth more that £11 million, over Labour’s proposed mansion tax last night on ITV’s The Agenda.
Ed, no doubt now questioning his decision to appear on the programme, could only look on in bewilderment as Klass, the face of the Littlewoods catalogue, "did a Paxman", according to viewers, and condemned his pledge to impose a tax on homes worth more than £2million.
Klass told Miliband: "For me, it’s so disturbing – the name in its own right: 'mansion tax'".
"Immediately you conjure up an image of these Barbie-esque houses, but in London, which is where 80 per cent of the people who will be paying this tax actually live, have you seen what that amount of money can get you? It’s like a garage," she said.
Klass, who became a celebrity after appearing in the short-lived pop group Hear'Say, reportedly sold her home last year for £1.8 million, and seemed to think that even "garages" in London are in the same price bracket.
"When you do look at the people who will be suffering this tax, it’s true a lot of them are grannies who have had these houses in their families for a long, long time," she said.
"The people who are the super-super rich buying their houses for £140million, this is not necessarily going to affect them because they’ve got their tax rebates and amazing accountants. It’s going to be the little grannies who have lived in those houses for years and years."
As Miliband recovered from his look of stunned confusion, he responded: "I totally understand that people don’t like paying more in tax. The values of my government are going to be different to the values of this government."
While many were quick to criticise Ed's lack of a rebuttal, others accused the I'm A Celebrity star of hypocrisy and said the Labour leader was just being ganged up on by a "bunch of rich people."
Myleene Klaas don't like the idea of having to pay #mansiontax.
Is she even aware of the effects of #BedroomTax?— Mseuca (@mseuca) November 18, 2014
Can't really get behind Myleene Klass attacking Ed Miliband for people potentially "suffering" as a result his £2m mansion tax proposal— Camilla Long (@camillalong) November 18, 2014
Poor Ed Miliband is having to argue with a deranged
Myleene Klass about tax on ITV.— robbingham (@robbingham) November 17, 2014
@KlassMyleene I feel so, so sorry for you. I'm going to start up a Just Giving page for you— Matthew Bingham (@mattdbingham) November 17, 2014
A fund-raising page has now been set up for the singer, which reads: “Help Myleene Klass pay her Mansion Tax.
"Myleene is a struggling mother with a fortune of £11m who needs our help. Please be generous.”
The incident echoes footballer Sol Campbell also voicing his concerns over Ed's proposed mansion tax.
The former Arsenal and England defender launched into an outburst as never-ending as his sliding tackle, then it emerged he had put his mansion up for sale at £25 million.
Others sided with the pop star:
Ed Miliband getting schooled by political heavyweight Myleene Klass should tell you everything about his suitability for office.— You know, that bloke (@letshaveamoan) November 18, 2014
You know it's gone truly surreal when Myleene Klass goes full Paxman on Miliband. #theagenda— Scott Reid (@scottreid1980) November 17, 2014
Yesterday Myleene Klass was on Smooth radio introducing rubbish Christmas songs, now she's on #TheAgenda arguing with Ed Miliband.— Daniel White (@danwhitepr) November 17, 2014
Ed Miliband is currently being schooled by Myleene Klass on his mansion tax policy. That political heavyweight. #TheAgenda— Edward Mayes (@eljmayes) November 17, 2014
For those who missed it on ITV last night, Myleene Klass went full Paxman on Ed Miliband. Yes really. A clip: https://t.co/A6vRaD2o4t— Scott Reid (@scottreid1980) November 18, 2014
Myleene Klass is wiping the floor with Ed Miliband on The Agenda - he could be making case so much better.— Caron Lindsay (@caronmlindsay) November 17, 2014
Just seen Myleene Klass 'owning' Ed Miliband over a mansion tax. Here 'owning' means 'shouting brainlessly at', clearly.— Doug Burgess (@achknalligewelt) November 18, 2014
Matters were made worse for Ed when the former British ambassador to the US, Sir Christopher Meyer, waded into the debate and furiously stated: "You’re going to screw me royally."
Host Tom Bradby was then forced to step in to try and calm the escalating tension saying: "Ed’s getting a bit isolated here."
But Klass, who seemed very confident with her understanding of the UK's taxation system, hit back: "Ed’s getting isolated because no one thinks it is going to work."
"You may as well just tax me on this glass of water. You can’t just point at things and tax them," she added.
"You need to have a better strategy and say why is the NHS in this mess in the first place?"
Also on the show last night, Miliband good-naturedly admitted he suffers from photo opportunity flaws and jokingly suggested Kim Kardashian could help him improve his image, following *that* shiny bottomed magazine cover.
Self-deprecating Ed even held up the following poster of a mocked-up newspaper headline saying "Ed plays the Kim Kard":
"Now all politicians have problems with photo opportunities, me more than most, so I have decided to hire Kim to help me with the photo opportunities," he said.